Niche perfumes – scents produced in small batches and only available at a handful of specialist shops – are becoming quite the rage. This makes perfect sense: perfume is one of the most personal beauty products that allows you to define who you are or who you want to be.
I was recently introduced to Rancé 1795, a French niche perfume brand. I have three samples from the Collection Impériale, inspired by the women in the life of emperor Napoleon, and I wanted to share my first impressions with you.
Inspired by the emperor’s mother, this is a strong scent that mixes floral and spicy notes including Bergamot, Rose, Magnolia and Nutmeg. This is not my fragrance: I find it too strong and overpowering. It starts with a heavy patchouli scent that is way too much for me and although it settles into something a little softer I just can’t get over the initial hit of spice.
Elise is much lighter: a fresh floral scent. This perfume combines Neroli with citrus tones like mandarin and warmer scents like patchouli and vanilla. It reminds me a little of a grown up version of Dior’s J’adore. This is much more delicate than Laetitia and I quite liked it…until I wore this on Mother’s day. My brother insisted I (and I quote): “smelled funny”. I still quite like it, but my family unanimously decided it was weird. Might be something to do with my body chemistry and the citrus in the perfume: I have noticed citrus in perfume tends to do develop weirdly on my skin.
Last but certainly not least is Hélène. This is a sweet floral perfume composed of neroli, ylang ylang, and jasmine with a slightly spicy undertones produced by cinnamon and cardamon. Certainly not your average floral scent. Unfortunately, this is the lightest of the three and it fades rather quickly on me. Definitely my favorite scent, but I expect a perfume to last a little longer than this.
Testing these niche perfumes by Rancé 1795 was very interesting. I love the complexity of the perfumes and the fact that they were all rather different from scents I have tried before. I will definitely be visiting some niche perfumeries to see if I can find my perfect perfume there! How about you: ever tried niche perfumes before?